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7 simple steps to apply for a Credit Card

Updated: Jun 18


This topic contains

  1. Review your credit score

  2. Determine the sort of card you need

  3. Choose if you want to submit

  4. Review to see if you are pre-qualified

  5. Prepare to knock on your credit

  6. Using best practices on credit card

  7. What if your submission has been denied?

"When you apply for your first credit card, you’re basically asking the card issuer to take a chance on you," says John Ulzheimer, credit trainer with the Ulzheimer Community. His advice, huh? Be honest in your goals. "It’s very unlikely that you will have a large credit limit, and you may not even have a modest credit limit," Ulzheimer says—and that’s good. Building credit is an operation, and you’ve got to start somewhere. Just remember: you may not be able to apply for a credit card right now, but you should take positive action to help you get accepted in the future. Here are some things you may need to complete your application for a credit card.


Here are the steps you need to apply for a credit card: 1. Review your credit score 2. Determine the sort of card you need 3. Choose if you want to submit 4. Review to see if you are pre-qualified 5. Prepare to knock on your credit 6. Using best practices on credit card 7. What if your submission has been denied? Let’s study these steps in detail:


1. Review your credit score

Knowing your credit ratings and what’s on your credit records will help you decide which items you want to apply for. For example, if you have fair credit, you do not want to apply for a card that explicitly specifies that only applicants with excellent credit will be admitted. Please take some time to check your reports. As the Consumer Financial Security Bureau says, your credit reports could contain mistakes, such as old collection accounts that should have already been deleted from your files, which might preclude your application from being accepted. How do I contest my credit report errors? Credit report mistakes are not rare, and how you refute a mistake depends on the sort of error you have. Any mistakes may be linked to an account (for example, a late payment of more than seven years) or inaccurate personal details (wrong name listed).

2. Determine the sort of card you need

If you are a first-time borrower, it is generally a smart idea to make a card with low to no annual payments and a low-interest rate. In most situations, one card should be enough to start with, as it reduces the possibility that you will be overwhelmed by multiple payment due dates. If you don’t have a credit background at all—or have had trouble being accepted for an unsecured credit card in the past—you may still be eligible for a secured credit card that needs a cash deposit and is widely used to establish credit. Another piece of advice is to register for a supermarket credit card. Julie Marie McDonough, author of 'How to Make Your Credit Score Soar,' explains retail cards as 'training wheels' of credit cards, as issuers appear to be more flexible on who qualifies for a credit card. But these cards have certain risks, including high-interest rates and penalties, so it is necessary to use them wisely.

3. Choose if you want to submit

Do you still have a deposit or credit union check or savings account? McDonough says applying for a credit card from a financial institution where you have an account might be a smart idea because you have a well-established past. Andrew Fiebert, co-founder of personal finance, Listen to Money Matters, agrees. The current banking partnership could increase your chances of obtaining a credit card request," he says, "especially if you managed your account responsibly, such as no overdrafts."

4. Review to see if you are pre-qualified

Any issuers let you know if you’re pre-qualified for their credit cards. This needs some effort on your side—you normally need to fill out a short form and request personal details, including your Social Security number. This triggers a soft question that, almost like testing your credit Karma, won’t change your credit score. If you are graded as "pre-approved" or "pre-qualified," this means that you have so far fulfilled all the requirements of the lender. However, you will need to apply for a passport, and getting completely accepted would depend on other aspects, including your salary. If you are a part of Credit Karma, you will see the acceptance chances for a variety of cards. Improvement chances come from Credit Karma looking at your credit profile and matching it to other Credit Karma participants that have been accepted for the product. Just remember: Like pre-qualification, the acceptance chances are not a promise of approval.

5. Get up to knock the loan

Usually, it causes a sound inquiry on your credit records as you apply for a new credit card. Hard investigations usually take place as the credit records when making a loan decision are reviewed by a financial institution like the borrower or issuer of credit cards. A difficult investigation will reduce your credit score by a couple of things and can last for two years on your credit records. The good news is that a rough question does not affect your scores as badly as you might expect, and as time progresses, the impact generally reduces or disappears.

6. Using a best practice credit card

Congratulations, if you are approved for a card! A credit card will help you develop your loan over time. A credit card. But note now that you have it, it needs to be managed and cared for on your end. Train yourself about best practices for credit card purchases, such as full payments on time and low credit use (preferably below 30 percent of your total limits).

What if your appeal is refused?



Don’t be desperate first of all. Some individuals were refused credit cards and many were approved for other credit cards later.

Weigh the decisions secondly. Perhaps you would like to seek another (unsecured) conventional passport. You can also consider applying for a protected credit card that includes a cash deposit that makes your account collateral.

However, be very selective with other applicants, as anyone could damage your credit.